In a blatantly opportunistic attempt to score political points from the strike in Shebeen el-Kom, three members of parliament visited the factory yesterday during the Friday prayer, el-Badeel reports. Ahmed Seif and and Atef abu Hussein from the ruling National Democratic Party denounced the Indian owner of the factory and called for him to "solve the problems or scram." They also called for the workers to continue to struggle for their rights. This sudden support for workers' rights is pretty hypocritical coming from two members of a party that has been busy cracking down on union activists since it was founded.
Also among the opportunists visiting Shebeen el-Kom was MP Talaat Sadat, who threatened to lead a march of workers and unionists to the parliament in Cairo to demand an intervention by prime minister Ahmed Nazif. Ironically, Sadat himself was reportedly one of the investors who showed interest in buying the factory before it was privatized. One wonders if the workers would have fared any better under his management, and what his stance towards the strike would have been as the owner of the factory?